Summary: Many people practice counterfeiting without actually realizing what they are doing. A counterfeiter tries to make an imitation of something genuine to deceive, defraud or pretend something to be what it is not in reality. Ananias’s lie to the Holy Spirit
1. Many people practice counterfeiting without actually realizing what they are doing. A counterfeiter tries to make an imitation of something genuine to deceive, defraud or pretend something to be what it is not in reality.
Ananias’s lie to the Holy Spirit was probably the crowning act of a life of counterfeit goodness. Few people commit spiritual counterfeiting unless they have a pattern of deception in their past.
Ananias thought he could pretend to be a holy man of God without being exposed for what he really was. He actually used his gift to the church as a way of misleading people into thinking he was great when he was a hypocrite.
Application: Avoid the tendency to feign success when you are actually a mere servant of the Lord who has been delivered from the kingdom of darkness to light. Remember that God is more interested in obedience than deceitful sacrifices.
2. God used Peter to expose the sin of spiritual counterfeiting for the benefit of the church. It is often a painful task to expose someone who is guilty of lying to the church, but sometimes it is necessary. Peter said,
"Satan is filling your heart."
The sins of counterfeiters often go undetected until someone is bold enough to help people face the facts. We live in a world that would prefers people to be tolerant of everyone else. Yet, Solomon wrote, "Open rebuke is better than secret love. Faithful are the wounds of a friend, but the kisses of an enemy are deceitful." (Prov. 27:5,6)
Application: Ask the Lord to give you the wisdom, tact and courage to expose the sin of spiritual counterfeiting in those whose acts threaten to spoil the witness and purity of the church.
3. Ananias’s struggle was primarily within his own selfish, prideful and greedy desires. When someone practices spiritual counterfeiting they are manifesting inward desires to gain something that is not rightfully theirs.
No one lies to other people until they have first lied to the Lord. No one lies to their family until they have started to lie to the truth in their own conscience. No believer lies to the their fellow Christians until they have first lied to the Holy Spirit in their own heart.
Application: Ask the Lord to help you practice honesty in your own personal life and you will be less likely to display any signs of spiritual counterfeiting.
4. Some people who are too anxious to run ahead of Godâs plan tend more toward the sins of spiritual counterfeiting. Choleric and Sanguine personalities are especially tempted to practice variations of spiritual counterfeiting. Those who pretend to present papers, lessons or sermons that are not their own, without acknowledging others’ contributions fall into the trap of spiritual counterfeiting.
Ananias and Sapphira were not required to sell their land and give it to the church. Yet, they were anxious to do something that would gain everyone’s social, political and religious admiration.
Application: The sins that people commit without any family pressures are often the worst kinds of sins. Ask the Lord for the grace, patience and obedience to not run ahead or fall behind His plan for your life.
5. By trying to counterfeit goodness Ananias and Sapphira conspired to go wrong without any overt temptation in front of them. The husband and wife team were seeking approval for something that God did not direct them to do. God not will reward us for gifts given with counterfeit motives.
Application: Ask the Lord to help you be content to do whatever God asks you to do with the help of Christ who gives you the strength and power. Do not try to conspire, achieve, or impress others above and beyond what the Lord has led you to do. Paul wrote, "Do not use your liberty as an opportunity for the flesh, but through love serve one another." (Gal. 5:13)
Application: Remember it is always enough to just be a servant available to do whatever God leads you to do. The Lord is more interested in our availibility than our ability.
Application: Trust God for satisfaction in contended service. God works best with those who humbly make themselves available for Him to do whatever He directs them to do on a daily basis.
6. Be careful that you do not try to separate morality from religious acts. The young couple thought they could be religious without living up to Godâs moral standards.
Application: Ask the Lord to help you remain honest, chaste and holy. Exercise honest goodness: morally, spiritually, financially, politically, emotionally, mentally, socially and interpersonally.
Song: Trust and obey for there is no other way to be happy in Jesus but to trust and obey.